Project Description

Swags & Tails is set on the day Margaret Thatcher dies, against a backdrop of austerity and cuts.

Meet Gloria, her past eroded during years living in dementia units, Mary, the care-worker getting it from all angles and housebound Lillian, locked in her own spare room with only 8 bottles of Sloe Gin for company. Faced with the closure of their day centre will Ellen and Marlene unite and make a last stand?

There’s more to life than a custard cream and a chocolate bourbon.

155 women worked with us to inform Swags & Tails, through Open Clasp’s Generation XX project. The women involved live and work in care homes, care for loved ones, use day centres or are housebound. Using drama techniques each group created a character with their own story to tell. Swags & Tails is about the quality, or lack of quality, of care of older people and carers in our society.

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At once endearing, hilarious, passionate and tear-jerking. It gives a perfect insight into the lives of the elderly and fights on their behalf for some much-needed respect.

Evening Chronicle

Swags and Tails is a must-see production – it’s about who we are, how we grow old and why life must be lived in all its glory. It made me laugh and cry in equal measure.

Councillor Nick Forbes (leader of Newcastle City Council)